So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby Fetzie » Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:11 am

The funny thing is, Panda is going back to being more of a grindy experience, something Cata didn't have nearly as much of (except for that gawdawful MF zone). But the Panda grind is a casual one.

People seem to like grinds, if they don't notice they are grinds. Hence the unprecendented success of Farmville et al, some of the "grindiest" games ever released.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby degre » Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:35 am

Just remember one thing when talking What If..., WoW is what actually changed the MMORPG market and shaped it as it is now, as before WoW MMORPG weren't really that much of a market and Everquest was widely regarded as the housewife game, with DAOC being the only other solid MMORPG around and was PvP based (RvR!). Then came WoW and playing a MMORPG became different, people were curious to play this new Blizzard title and the fever started.

If you look at the Western market today is heavily shaped after WoW, games like SWTOR or Rift are obvious clones, the few games that tried something different, original, were titles like Warhammer or AoC, shame that they were missing half the content and the other half was broken, with GW2 being pretty much the only one standing on its own feet.

If WoW was released today maybe could have some competition, but isn't sure as the MMORPG crazed was started by WoW, and it's quite possible that would still crunch these numbers, maybe even more as nowadays machines are better than what they were back then and there more and more casual gamers.

To close, you say that WoW jumped the shark, but I remind you that the most popular expansion has been the casual oriented WotLK, unlike the hard Cata Heroics, and in MoP we have Pandas, LFR, cheesy heroics, Pokemon and FarmVille.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby Archeth » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:14 am

On the other hand it's another two years later, after Cataclysm, and for once competition is a bit more than just "like WoW 1.0, but with this and that new feature" clones. I don't expect subscriptions to keep falling like in the last two years but I do think WoW is past its prime and no casual features can cover that up. But that decline may well last a decade.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby KysenMurrin » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:24 am

I could easily see WoW just chugging along continuously, except that the levelling system in WoW can't just keep going forever. Eventually the level cap will be too high for most new players, and they'd have to dramatically alter the game to keep it going.

There are already game series (especially sports games) out there that release a new installment every year and people keep buying enough to keep them going. WoW could be the MMORPG version of that - if it didn't have the level inflation issue.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby halabar » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:10 am

degre wrote:If WoW was released today maybe could have some competition, but isn't sure as the MMORPG crazed was started by WoW, and it's quite possible that would still crunch these numbers, maybe even more as nowadays machines are better than what they were back then and there more and more casual gamers.

To close, you say that WoW jumped the shark, but I remind you that the most popular expansion has been the casual oriented WotLK, unlike the hard Cata Heroics, and in MoP we have Pandas, LFR, cheesy heroics, Pokemon and FarmVille.


If Vanilla WoW launched now, I don't think it would succeed. If WoW launched as what Pandaclysm is, then it might.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby halabar » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:12 am

Pyrea wrote:
The funny thing is, Panda is going back to being more of a grindy experience, something Cata didn't have nearly as much of (except for that gawdawful MF zone). But the Panda grind is a casual one.

People seem to like grinds, if they don't notice they are grinds. Hence the unprecendented success of Farmville et al, some of the "grindiest" games ever released.


Ironic, since Blizz is adding Farmville...
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby degre » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:25 am

halabar wrote:
degre wrote:If WoW was released today maybe could have some competition, but isn't sure as the MMORPG crazed was started by WoW, and it's quite possible that would still crunch these numbers, maybe even more as nowadays machines are better than what they were back then and there more and more casual gamers.

To close, you say that WoW jumped the shark, but I remind you that the most popular expansion has been the casual oriented WotLK, unlike the hard Cata Heroics, and in MoP we have Pandas, LFR, cheesy heroics, Pokemon and FarmVille.


If Vanilla WoW launched now, I don't think it would succeed. If WoW launched as what Pandaclysm is, then it might.

Vanilla launched now would have sure been different. Originally they started developing WoW with the idea of a game a la Baldur's gate or Diablo but I remember them mentioning you could go as up as 64 players, then with MMORPG like DAOC around with thousands of players on the same server they redesigned, which is why if Vanilla would have come out today it would have been very very different, cause with a different market comes different games design.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby Teranoid » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:52 pm

halabar wrote:
Pyrea wrote:
The funny thing is, Panda is going back to being more of a grindy experience, something Cata didn't have nearly as much of (except for that gawdawful MF zone). But the Panda grind is a casual one.

People seem to like grinds, if they don't notice they are grinds. Hence the unprecendented success of Farmville et al, some of the "grindiest" games ever released.


Ironic, since Blizz is adding Farmville...


Which completely makes sense in two ways:

1)They realize they're starting to lose their original playerbase who are older now and are moving away from the game for whatever reason and they're keeping the game going by changing their target demographics.
2)People complained in Cata (myself included) that there is literally nothing to do in game. More options however dumb they seem are options nonetheless.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby halabar » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:55 pm

Teranoid wrote:1)They realize they're starting to lose their original playerbase who are older now and are moving away from the game for whatever reason and they're keeping the game going by changing their target demographics...


:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

Maybe I can get my wife to manage my Tillers farm...
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby bldavis » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:57 pm

halabar wrote:
Teranoid wrote:1)They realize they're starting to lose their original playerbase who are older now and are moving away from the game for whatever reason and they're keeping the game going by changing their target demographics...


:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

Maybe I can get my wife to manage my Tillers farm...

:shock: :shock:

maybe i can get my mother back in the game this way!
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby theckhd » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:45 pm

degre wrote:To close, you say that WoW jumped the shark, but I remind you that the most popular expansion has been the casual oriented WotLK, unlike the hard Cata Heroics, and in MoP we have Pandas, LFR, cheesy heroics, Pokemon and FarmVille.


Keep in mind that "casual-oriented" is only one part of WotLK's success (and it's arguable how much - iirc numbers peaked during the first month or two of Wrath, before it really hit its casual-friendly 'lolheroics' stride, and steadily declined afterwards). Benebarba alluded to another factor earlier - Wrath was the last expansion that really covered lore from the RTS games, specifically WC3. Arthas was the big bad, in a sense. I know people who bought the expansion and resubscribed just to kill him.

Since then, we've more or less been forging new ground. Sure, Deathwing is old hat, but he wasn't a major plot point of WC3. Most of the actual story we're playing through now is either new material (as in, we're no longer exploring areas we saw in the RTS games) or material set up by the earlier WoW expansions (Twilight cult, Garrosh escalating the H/A conflict).

I know that I feel a closer connection to the first three expansions than to Cataclysm, just because of the nostalgia factor. I suspect that a lot of other players did too.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby PsiVen » Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:03 pm

I was quite looking forward to Deathwing as a badass villain from WC2, but I've noticed that a lot of newer Warcraft players are totally unfamiliar with him. I can definitely see the Lich King driving subscriptions especially as the entire expansion was built around him egging you on personally. Cataclysm was certainly built around Deathwing, but to a lot of people I think it felt contrived rather than established.

Mists of Pandaria takes it in a very different direction, probably closer to Vanilla WoW or TBC, neither of which were all that villain-driven (Illidan as the villain of TBC at release didn't even make much sense).

That said, there's a limit to the amount that story drives this game or any other Blizzard title. I've mentioned before that I was displeased with MoP until I realized that I stopped caring a long time ago that the story sometimes loses my interest, because the gameplay is what I'm here for. I think the vast majority of WoW players feel similarly, and the fallout from people actually quitting over "ugh Kung Fu Panda wtf" will be negligible as long as they release compelling content.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby Fetzie » Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:25 pm

as long as they release compelling content.


This is the point though. Blizzard has it entirely in their hands. They can make WoW a record-breaking resounding success if they make consistently high quality content. They can also hammer the coffin lid shut if they don't. I like playing WoW, I happily signed up for the annual pass and I don't regret that decision. But if Blizzard gives us another Dragon Soul for 9 months, my patience will wear out, and I don't doubt for a minute that other people feel the same way.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby Fridmarr » Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:31 pm

A couple of other feathers in the WotLK hat... It was that the first time that every class was designed to be raid viable in all of their roles. They also had the draw of a new class which I think gave a lot of people the chance at a fresh start with something very different that content alone really can't quite deliver on.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby theckhd » Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:37 pm

PsiVen wrote:I was quite looking forward to Deathwing as a badass villain from WC2, but I've noticed that a lot of newer Warcraft players are totally unfamiliar with him. I can definitely see the Lich King driving subscriptions especially as the entire expansion was built around him egging you on personally. Cataclysm was certainly built around Deathwing, but to a lot of people I think it felt contrived rather than established.


I guess I didn't get the "badass villain" vibe about Deathwing from WC2. I remember the mission where we fought him, but he was just another dragon model by that point in the game. It could be that time has just dulled my memory of his badassery though.

Fridmarr wrote:A couple of other feathers in the WotLK hat... It was that the first time that every class was designed to be raid viable in all of their roles. They also had the draw of a new class which I think gave a lot of people the chance at a fresh start with something very different that content alone really can't quite deliver on.

I was actually a little surprised that Monks weren't a hero class. I guess they decided they didn't like the "start at a higher level" paradigm. But I think that the prospect of leveling a monk from 1-90 will turn a lot of people off of the class, at least as their main. Plus thematically it would have made more sense for them to start at 75, maybe with 75-85 on the Wandering Isle. That would have skipped the wonky story - "you're a level 1 pandaren monk from the wandering isle, now go re-live the cataclysm from a few years ago!"
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